[This is a paper book so notes here are a little sparser.]

Summary

Keywords

  • “metabolic rift”
  • “low theory”: theory produced from the experience of the individual.

Notes

0. Preface

  • Molecular Red is in two parts: first, a reading of Soviet authors, Bogdanov and Platonov, in an effort to develop a preterite history for Anthropocene theory—grounded in Marxism though moving beyond it, interested in theory developed from the ground up, and the relation to nature (xvii); then moves to Haraway and Robinson to apply these theories to contemporary work. Barad and Edwards also make appearances. Robinson is also a vital example of theory-fiction.
  • In a broad sense, Wark’s project is to put theory to use and also to move beyond “melancholy paralysis” (xx).
  • Wark argues we need an “alternative realism” to capitalist realism (Fisher) or capitalist romance (Marx):

Archive and Impact

  • Wark is an outsider and a weirdo and I have a lot of affection for his reading practice. This is a book about critical theory in the purest sense—the inheritance of the Frankfurt School. Wark is a leftist—I think that’s the best way to frame him, since I don’t quite know his allegiance to Marxism as it’s currently construed. What is most useful about this book is a peek into the work of theorizing about the Anthropocene and the variegated tendrils of influence one can use to do that work.